January is typically a time for sorting and clearing out: starting afresh, slim-lining the home after the excesses of Christmas, or making way for new purchases made in the sales. While on a routine de-cluttering of The Drawer (we all have one - you know, the one where you chuck old batteries, keys for houses you no longer live in and a squillion take away menus!), the name Marie Kondo popped in to my head.
I have come across this name quite a lot recently on other blogs, in newspapers and online. She is officially titled an 'organising consultant' or, as The Guardian puts it, a "tidying up guru" and runs a consultancy in Tokyo helping clients to de-clutter their homes. There is currently a three month waiting list. Really.
Kondo's first book, 2011's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, sold over two million copies worldwide and the follow-up, Spark Joy, is rapidly heading in the same direction with scores of fans posting pictures of their 'Kondoed' drawers and wardrobes.
At its core, the Konmari Method borrows from Japanese values and the spirit of Zen but Spark Joy teaches us to turn traditional de-cluttering on it's head with the approach of choosing what to keep instead of what to get rid of.
I am a huge believer in the saying 'tidy house, tidy mind.' I truly can only focus when my surroundings are neat and organised, otherwise I'm so distracted I can't do anything. I already have a huge aversion to clutter and pointless ornaments but there is always room for improvement so I've decided to give the Konmari Method a go, beginning with my wardbrobe and drawers.
I spent a blissful hour last friday evening (I know, so rock 'n' roll!) sorting through my clothes and folding everything in to small, neat bundles as demonstrated in the book. It's much easier to see what you have and you can fit more in to the space. Where I once had a whole drawer full of tops, I now have the same amount of clothes in half the space. Amazing!
As I work my way through the book I'm hoping it will not only help me to tidy my flat but also my head, making it easier to make decisions and live the life I want, not the one I have.